Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars.
Tonight I watched Venus set in the west behind the Jemez Mountains. It seems like weeks since it’s been clear enough to check out the summer sky.
Photo by Darren Kirby
I turned off the lights in the house and went out on the portal where I had a clear view of the Big Dipper overhead. To the south I could see Scorpius with the red star Antares at its heart and Sagittarius, shaped like a teapot. Chet Raymo’s book 365 Starry Nights is still my favorite star-watching guide. I used my original copy until it fell apart and had to buy a new one; it has great line drawings and just the right mix of mythology and science.
To find out which planets are in view this month I went to EarthSky’s website and discovered that if I get up early enough I will be able to see the trio of Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury. Not likely . . .